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The COBAS "Virtual Corridor" project is associated with the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor in the Rio Peñas Blancas watershed in Costa Rica. The project is a collaboration among community members and other local stakeholders, researchers at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and the Development Observatory at the University of Costa Rica, and the Tropical Science Center (Centro Científico Tropical – a Costa Rican conservation and research NGO).
The Rio Peñas Blancas watershed (population ~2000 in 5 villages, 120km2 area) in Southern Costa Rica is characterized by small holder, cooperative agriculture (coffee and sugar cane), largely oriented to sustainability certification and fair trade markets.
The "virtual corridor" is a participatory tool for collecting, storing and sharing social-ecological information among community members, stakeholders and project partners. It is a way to present qualitative and quantitative datasets, construct and manipulate future scenarios, to monitor advances in ecological connectivity, environmental health and human wellbeing, and to mobilize and create local knowledge.